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Holland takes cautious steps on plan to build a wind farm

Creative Commons

The City of Holland is buying the option to lease more land it wants to use for a wind farm. City Council approved the lease agreementsWednesday night to spend $40,000 for roughly 860 acres of land south of Holland. The area has been identified as one of the best in the state for wind energy potential.

The city has been collecting more detailed wind data since last fall. If everything goes smoothly, Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra says wind turbines could begin to go up as soon as next year.

Dykstra says the results aren’t as good as they hoped. But Holland has its own electric grid very close by. He says that proximity means the wind farm makes more sense financially. They’re considering a wind farm that, a the highest output range, would be 20 to 30MW.

In a perfect world, Dykstra says they could begin putting up wind turbines that could produce at as early as next year.

“Assuming all goes well, it would provide use with the opportunity to supply alternative energy outside of our own system.”

Selling the wind energy would help Holland offset the cost of developing and maintaining a wind farm. Dyskstra says they need more data and more land before they can begin any project.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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